Tshepiso Jewellery

WORDS Celeste Jacobs PHOTOS Supplied

After completing a degree in fine arts at Wits, serendipity saw the founder and namesake of Tshepiso jewellery embark on a design course in Italy – which led to a boundary-pushing debut collection.

Now back on home soil, it’s almost certain Tshepiso’s inspired work will leave a mark on the South African jewellery industry. Her debut collection of fashion-forward, demi-fine pieces challenges gender-specific designs. “Times are changing – and my brand is keeping up with that by creating designs that are more gender-fluid,” she says. Tshepiso’s “Landing” campaign marks a turning point – the time before and after her work entered the South African landscape. To make it possible, Tshepiso joined forces with photographer Armand Dicker and creative director Anthony Hinrichsen. “I wanted something weird and ‘out there’,” she says. “Armand and Anthony gave me more than that. They had seen one of my Instagram pictures, which looked like the jewellery was on the moon, and they drew some inspiration from that.”

With help from their photographic assistant, Sibongile Mditshwa, the creative team designed an otherworldly shoot featuring an alien-like beauty landing in a dreamy desert. They used their muse Yongama Mgqibela as the star. “Patricia Ndeke and Mira Muamba created an out-of-this-world, antenna-like hairstyle,” says Tshepiso. “The gorgeous glittery makeup is by Amy-Louise Tourell, and the intricate, to-die-for nails are by Matthew Green.”

And this is just the beginning for Tshepiso, who holds much potential to refresh and rephrase what comes to mind when we think of jewellery. “I want to create pieces that are bolder and more body-conscious and play with the way the body moves and looks,” she says. “There is so much more to come – and I’m really excited about the future of the brand.”

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